How To Use Commitment To Be Mentally Tough
Mental toughness is a mindset that provides you with the resilience and confidence to be more successful, more positive and less stressed than those who are not. It can be measured and then developed through changing your habits and adopting a more structured and less emotive approach to your work and life.
The Clough and Strycharczyk Mental Toughness Framework, backed by a simple but scientifically valid psychometric measure MTQ-Plus (part of the MTQ48 family) comprises four main scales or traits:
each with two sub scales or traits and each playing an important part within the overall framework.
In the first post in this 4 part series on the 4C’s we examined Control and in this second post we feature Commitment.
COMMITMENT – Being consistently focused on achieving your goals and targets
I see Commitment C as the ‘making it happen’ C because it comprises your desire and discipline around setting your goals and targets, your focus on meeting them and action required to achieve them without being distracted or diverted.
If you are highly committed on this scale then you are more likely to effortlessly handle and achieve tasks and situations in the face of tough and unyielding deadlines. You are generally resilient and tenacious with high levels of internal resources and will likely do whatever you need to do to achieve your goal. This latter attribute results in you being extremely reliable because meeting your goals is so important to you.
Achieving a balance is important though because too much commitment and supreme focus on the outcome means you can easily bruise people, who are less committed, along the way.
This is generally acceptable and indeed desirable in a crisis situation but far less so in ‘business as usual mode‘ where you will quickly gain a reputation for being hard and unpleasant to deal with.
At the other end of the scale if you are low on Commitment you are likely to be easily distracted or diverted and find it difficult to complete tasks when faced with adverse circumstances. You will likely find it difficult to assume additional responsibilities because you struggle when under that pressure and give up too easily.
Within the Commitment scale are two subscales:
As it suggests Goal Orientation measures how motivated you are by goals and targets and if you are high, you like to know what is expected of you. You can probably visualise success and imagine what a successful outcome will be.
One of the challenges of being too goal focused however is that you can sometimes lose sight of important non-outcomes focused factors like how your colleagues are feeling. They may be more about the journey than the destination, which will frustrate you and your reaction will certainly frustrate them.
A balance can be desirable depending on the role or the circumstances but being low on goal orientation will almost always be detrimental in a modern working environment. You will often feel intimidated by the deadlines that working to goals might bring and especially the consequences of not meeting them.
Achievement Orientation represents the other half of the commitment equation in assessing how you are able to focus and do what it takes to achieve the goal. If you are high in this area you will generally work hard, not be easily distracted and will feel great satisfaction from doing so.
The challenge sometimes for those too high on Achievement Orientation is that they are so focused on achieving their goals they can be inflexible and potentially miss changing priorities.
At the other end of the scale being low on Achievement Orientation can be difficult for individuals who will likely give up more easily than most when given tasks and activities – especially where there are regular setbacks or fairly high levels of pressure.
They may find it difficult to maintain concentration and to maintain mental concentration for more than a short period, which is becoming increasingly common in an age where technology so easily distracts the focus.
So, how do you develop your sense of commitment ?
The clues are in the descriptives above.
It is important to have a stong sense of purpose in your life and know what you believe in and what you want your legacy to be . From this you can develop a series of goals that once you achieve them will help you fulfill your purpose. In their most granular form they will be daily goals, which through being disciplined and focused, you can achieve. There are strategies you can use to develop your focus and prevent the internal mental obstacles and external distractions like social media from derailing your plans.
We can help you implement and practise these strategies to build your sense of Commitment.
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